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Videotaping police

Man faces 75 year prison sentence for videotaping police

Saturday, June 08, 2013 by: Lance Johnson
Tags: videotaping police, video recording, citizen abuse

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(NaturalNews) Abuse of power is becoming accepted at even local levels now, as absurd targeting of ordinary non-violent Americans becomes "normal."

Michael Allison, a 42-year-old man from Robinson, a small town in Illinois, faces a 75-year prison sentence for videotaping police.

The charge waged against Michael Allison is based on an archaic Illinois eavesdropping law which slaps a 15-year prison sentence for each "eavesdropping" offense. Michael is accused of five offenses, including his videotaping of police as they walked onto his mother's property, seizing unregistered vehicles that he was working on. Allison was also fined for his vehicles that were deemed a "public nuisance."

Allison bypasses plea deal

Represented by the ACLU, Allison has bypassed a plea deal, hoping that his case will help overturn the archaic application of the eavesdropping law in Illinois and in other states.

Allison told NBC News 2 in Illinois, "If their statute says that it was illegal, then their statute is unconstitutional," and violates seven amendments of the U.S. Constitution: First Amendment - Free Speech; Fourth - Unreasonable Search; Fifth - Due Process; Sixth - Speedy Trial; Eighth - Unusual Punishment; Ninth - Guaranteed Rights; and Fourteenth - Equal Protection."

Constitutional law should be upheld in Allison's case. In a recent case, involving Glik v. Cunniffe, the District Court of Appeals upheld the right to record police actions in public.

Simon Glik was arrested in 2007 for videotaping an arrest at the Boston Common. He videotaped the police because he observed police brutality at the scene. The police used an old wiretap law to arrest Glik and to prevent their escapade from being further videotaped. The court finally found these police authorities in violation of the Constitution.

Allison believes the Constitution will have his back as well.

While having his vehicles taken, Allison recorded the police officer's exchange on his mother's property. With cell phone camera evidence in hand, Allison went to the Robinson Police Department for his ordinance hearing in confidence. This is where Allison's arrest came in. Upon telling the judge that he had recordings of his interaction with the officers, Allison was arrested outside and charged with five felony eavesdropping counts.

The hypocrisy of the arcane law

This old eavesdropping law is purely hypocritical: Police routinely videotape the public from their own squad cars. How then, can a man on his family's own property be arrested for videotaping in much the same way as officers do? Why does he face a prison sentence similar to a rapist?

After officers and the court system unnecessarily wasted his energy, Allison has turned down their plea bargain, saying, "You've got to stare down the face of this big government that we have. If you don't fight for these freedoms here at home, we're all going to lose them."

Sources for this article include:




About the author:
Lance Johnson is a passionate researcher, learner, writer, and healer. Lance and his wife invite you to check out their line of clean and conscious body care products at www.allnaturalfreespirit.com.

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